On January 30, the South Carolina State Election Commission determined that the petition submitted by the American Party has enough valid signatures. The American Party was founded a year ago by Jim Rex, a former Democratic elected Education Superintendent, and Dr. Oscar Lovelace, who had run for Governor in the Republican primary in 2006. In a two-person race against Mark Sanford, Lovelace had polled 35.2%. The new party held a press conference at the State Capitol on January 31 to announce the news.
The party was originally called the Free Citizens Party. It wants to concentrate on local races this year, and its founders will now tour the state, seeking to recruit good candidates. The party says it wants to expand across the nation in 2016.
This is the first party to successfully petition in South Carolina since 2012, when Americans Elect qualified. It never ran any candidates, but is still on the ballot. It will be removed from the ballot if it fails to run any candidates in 2014.
The American Party submitted 16,000 valid signatures in order to qualify, and gathered signatures in each of the 46 counties. Thanks to Andy for the news.